What is a Hernia?
A hernia refers to tissue or an organ from one body cavity moving into another space where it should not normally be. In the majority of cases hernias are related to defects of the abdominal wall or diaphragm. The given medical “name” is based off of the location and nature of the hernia.
A hernia is not something that is removed. Hernias are repaired. A punctured bicycle tire can be repaired in a number of ways. The tire puncture could be glued primarily, a patch placed over the opening or perhaps below the opening. Regardless of technique, the problem area remains, it is not removed.
Dr. Scott Laker is now offering special pricing for those wishing to self-pay their hernia operations. See our Affordable Hernia Surgery in Michigan page for more details.
Common Abdominal Hernias
- Hernias of the Groin
- Umbilical Hernia
- Incisional Hernia
- Epigastric Hernia
- Complex Abdominal Wall Hernia
Why are hernias a potential for problems?
Hernias can be a source of chronic pain and discomfort. Often hernias enlarge with time and become more symptomatic. The type of problem that can develop depends on the type of hernia and exactly what tissue/organ is protruding through the defect. Although relatively rare, intestinal obstruction is still one of the most common indications for emergency hernia surgery. Long standing entrapment of bowel (incarcerated hernia) can potentially lead to loss of blood supply to the trapped tissue/organ (strangulated hernia) and eventual gangrene and perforation.
The overwhelming majority of hernias do not cause life threatening emergencies. If you think you may have a hernia have your doctor evaluate.
What are the symptoms of a hernia?
Symptoms are dependent on location of the abdominal wall defect and what tissue/organ is protruding through the defect. For some, entrapment or pinching of intra-abdominal fat causes a generalized abdominal aching, sense of bloating, nausea or a sense of need to defecate. Others will complain of a burning sensation or a sense of “something pulling” when performing certain movements.
If bowel is trapped within a hernia defect a person may experience bloating, nausea, vomiting or colicky abdominal pain. Severe pain, retching/vomiting or fever/chills may represent a more serious complication and emergency evaluation is recommended.
How are hernias diagnosed?
Most hernias can be identified by physical examination. Occasionally, radiologic evaluation with CT scan and/or ultrasound can demonstrate hernias that are not readily appreciated on exam and may be useful for pre-operative planning.